As Yggdrasil Trembles
posted on 4/2010 By:
Unleashed has put out three very solid albums since the band's legendarily bad 2002 comeback album, Hell's Unleashed. Sworn Allegiance, Midvinterblot, and Hammer Battalion were all worthy of the Unleashed name and legacy, and even with yet another label change, Unleashed continues with their fourth album of mead ‘n’ potatoes Viking death metal.
One of the bands where you know exactly what you are going to get, Unleashed doesn’t disappoint on As Yggdrasil Trembles; which is mostly Viking-themed, groovy, often catchy, mid-paced death metal with little or no deviation from the band’s original sound. Johnny Hedlund is Johnny Hedlund, with his distinctive bark, and the songs are instantly recognizable as Unleashed. Consistency has been (and still is) the key for Unleashed, and other than Hell's Unleashed, there’s no reason to doubt that Unleashed will deliver entertaining, if hardly challenging death metal. So if you are an Unleashed fan, you can do no wrong with As Yggdrasil Trembles.
Starting with what can only be termed a classic or typical Unleashed song in “Courage Today, Victory Tomorrow!,” Hedlund and company deliver 12 direct tracks that won’t change the world but will entertain you. And Johnny is quick to inform you of his band's style, as heard on “Wir Kapitulieren Niemals” where Johnny yells “Viking Death metal!” – we get it, Johnny… Still, from the controlled chug of “This Time We Fight” and “Master of the Ancient Art” to more urgent numbers like “Chief Einherjar” and “Return Fire,” these are all classic Unleashed tunes, and the band has even added a dash of melody to their style without sacrificing their patented sound.
Ultimately, this is still an Unleashed album, whether you view that as good or bad, so by about “Dead to Me,” I’m ready to move on to something else--which is a shame as closer "Cannibalistic Epidemic Continues" is one of the albums stronger cuts and should have been earlier in the track listing--though I enjoyed the pillaging while it was happening.
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